Freedom Train: The Story of Harriet Tubman
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Freedom Train: The Story of Harriet Tubman

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  922 ratings  ·  69 reviews
Born into slavery, young Harriet Tubman knew only hard work and hunger. Escape seemed impossible--certainly dangerous. Yet Harriet did escape North, by the secret route called the Underground Railroad. Harriet didn't forget her people. Again and again she risked her life to lead them on the same secret, dangerous journey.
Paperback, 192 pages
Published May 1st 1987 by Scholastic Paperbacks (first published 1954)
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I read this biography aloud to my children. The timing worked out well because it is Black History Month.

Harriet Tubman is an inspiring heroine! Despite having a hard life born into slavery, being beaten by her masters, and surviving a serious head wound that should have killed her, she went on to accomplish great things. She single-handedly brought over 300 slaves to freedom through the Underground Railroad. It is astonishing that she eluded detection with 19 trips across slave territory. We la...more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I read this in the sixties when I was a kid. Back then the rural school I attended didn't teach anything about Black American history. So, reading this book, I got the impression that Black people didn't have much to do with American history, except for rare instances like Harriet Tubman. It's a shame because I missed out on learning about a whole lot of interesting people. Now, of course, as an adult I've caught up on all that I missed then, and I'm glad to see that this book is still in print...more
As a spy, she used disguises and passwords, forged documents and secret signals. But these weapons of warfare were always selected with the greatest simplicity.
~ From Freedom Train: The Story of Harriet Tubman

My kiddo and I both gave Freedom Train 5 stars. For intermediate and middle grade readers, I can't ask too much from it because there are some chapters where a lull of excitement sets in, and you don't want that for young readers. Even as an adult, if this book had've been any longer, I w...more
Bailey Br
In the book “Freedom Train” by Dorothy Sterling, Harriet Tubman was a slave in 1827. She was born a slave and would always be one. She was a very curious little girl. At only the age of eight, Harriet was going to be trouble for her master. Her master tried and tried to sell Harriet, but no one would buy her. Harriet grew older and at the age of 16 she was as curious as ever. One day, her curiosity got her into trouble. Harriet was hurt by her master and was knocked unconscious. She recovered, b...more
Isaiah Johnson
what i learned from this book so far is that harriet is a brave harted young girl,and by the way she can take a licking and keep on ticking.even though she had to literary eat scarps of food to live not just to stay healyhy but just to stay alive because she was a slave &because she was a african-american,i think this is a book that our generation will love to read over and over of the century!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
A great read for 5th graders learning about American history (specifically Harriet Tubman, the Underground Railroad, and the Civil War).

The story of Harriet Tubman. This also makes a great reference book which includes great facts and events by date and year at the end of the book.
Haily Kokinakis
This book was very enlightening. I had never read a book about Harriet until this one. I found it educational in a non-boring way and I enjoyed that. I would use this book to help teach about the civil war because it shows the point of view from a slave and not from a person fighting in the actual war. Harriet fought her own war and won. I didn't like how the book kind of ended suddenly though. She was doing fine and then she dies? I get it that people die but maybe a little lead up to it? Maybe...more
When I was little, I loved this biography about Harriet Tubman, and to this day I enjoy reading it and letting her bravery inspire me.
I read this book during the reading time while I was tutoring...I learned more about Tubman and her incredible bravery...
where i learned the always useful fact that harriet tubman had narcolepsy from being hit on the head with an iron
I know that I had learned somewhat about Harriet Tubman in Elementary school, but I had no idea exactly how brave and determined this wonderful woman was. I have never read a story like this one. For such a short novel there are so many details and descriptions that bring Harriet Tubman to life. This book incorporates learning about the culture and hard lives of slaves. One thing that really impressed me about this book is the author's ability to write in a creative manner while being able to br...more
The true story of Harriet Tubman is dramatic and emotional and powerful, but this book made it hard to get through, particularly when I think about the school-aged kids reading it. It was much too laden down with minute and unimportant historical details, and is a perfect example of how one can take an amazing true story and turn it into something that makes kids think history is boring.

I gave it 2 stars instead of 1 because of all the songs included in the book, which brought about a sense of...more
I thought it was a great book on Harriet Tubmens life.
Kira Butler
Apr 27, 2010 Kira Butler is currently reading it
I learnded that Harriet Tubman is a hero to black people.
Jan 19, 2010 Flower marked it as to-read
found on my bookshelf
Megan Korngold
This is a historical book about Harriet Tubman and is written on (about) a fourth grade reading level. The book chronicles Tubman’s experiences with slavery, segregation and civil rights. The book does a great job captivating students and keeping them interested in a factual story that has many elements making it hard to digest. For example, the topics of inequality and race may be ones that are more difficult to teach to younger students, however this book presents the information through Tubma...more
Jan 25, 2011 Angela added it
i like it
This book opened my children's eyes to the injustice of slavery more than anything we've read so far this year. It was factual without being overly burdensome to young minds. My kids were rooting for Harriet Tubman the whole way through. I'm so glad that this book did a great job of delineating just what an incredible, selfless, true heroine Tubman was! My kids were awestruck at the work she did after she freed herself from slavery. And she did it all on her own! They were amazed that she and he...more
Started teaching this book on my last sub job. Decided to finish it. It was good but I think the hard parts of escaping from slavery were kind of glossed over. They just made it sound like she walked right up to the Pennsylvania line and hopped over. I do get, however, that it was a kids book so probably too much detail was not a good thing. It was a good story and I think the kids are going to really enjoy it.
Lauren Briggs
I thought this book was very interesting and made me appreciate the freedom that I have in my life. I think Harriet is a true hero and has more love towards other people than anyone I know. At some points in the novel I found myself wandering and a little bored. Overall I would read this book again.
I already knew this story, but I learned a lot of facts that I didn't know before. It is crazy to think about all the sacrifices Harriet made. The book does a good job of telling her story. Might have been a little long/deep for kids, but to read along with kids it would probably be great.
Nana Fredua-Agyeman
I picked this book because I've read the name 'Harriet Tubman' in books and in poems where it represented the image of a bold and strong woman. However, for some reason, I've never taken the pain to explore further. Hence, when I saw a copy of Freedom Train: The Story of Harriet Tubman (Scholastic, 1954; 191) by Dorothy Sterling I never, for a microsecond, dithered in my decision to purchase it. This was the reason why I never discovered that the writing had been tailored toward younger readers;...more
Kara Deboer
Nice way to introduce slavery and the Underground Railroad to my sons. Shows the depravity of slavery but all of the book is set among the hope of freedom and all that people have done to work together to spread that freedom throughout our country. Wonderful read of one of my heroes.
CH_Emily Scholnik
The story of Harriet Tubman is such an interesting one to share with young learners. When I read this book, I stop after one or two chapters and my students beg me to keep reading! It is a great discussion starter for topics such as slavery, courage, history, adversity, internal strength and so much more. I read this book to every class, every year, and we usually do a project to go along with the multiple stories we read about Harriet Tubman. This particular book is a great read that children r...more
Bella Jenkins
How can you read it online cause im deaf
Brianna Gutierrez
The Biography of Harriet Tubman has been an amazing book to read. Despite the fact that many people believe that biographies are boring, this story kept me entertained and interested the whole time. Many of you know the story of Harriet Tubman and the underground railroads but her biography went into more detail about her life. This book made me wonder whether or not I could be that brave or noble. It shows how the bravery of one women could change the lives of many people. The Biogaphy of Harri...more
Is this actually all real?
Brittany White
My fifth graders just read this, and while it is a wonderful book, it was quite difficult for them to grasp.

Social Studies implementation: This serves as a nice component trade book to read during a Civil War unit. It traces the struggle and perseverance of a very significant figure in American history, Harriet Tubman. This book is a great character study, and students have the opportunity to see what life was like for those escaping slavery in the south.
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Dorothy Sterling (Dannenberg) was a Jewish-American writer and historian.

She was born and grew up in New York City, attended Wellesley College, and graduated from Barnard College in 1934. After college, she worked as a journalist and writer in New York for several years. In 1937, she married Philip Sterling, also a writer. In the 1940s, she worked for Life Magazine for 8 years. In early 1968, 448...more
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